“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Name That Weapon

An interesting follow up to the mini dust-up between Colombian and Venezuelan, the near war that was settled in eight days. You gotta love the Latins. What caught my eye was the photo of the cowboy with a very impressive looking weapon. It sure looks like business. What is it?


Venezuela Steps Up Efforts To Thwart Cocaine Traffi

Elite soldiers were deployed in an anti-drug operation to destroy the 157 clandestine airfields discovered in Apure state in southwestern Venezuela. (Photos By Juan Forero -- The Washington Post)

By Juan Forero
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 7, 2008; Page A08
ELORZA, Venezuela -- Facing criticism that cocaine trafficking is out of control, Venezuela's government this year has embarked on an aggressive program to track drug-smuggling planes and destroy clandestine airstrips used by Colombian drug clans, Venezuelan drug enforcement and military officials said in a series of interviews.

In what appears to be a sharp shift from last year, Venezuelan aircraft and munitions experts have destroyed 157 dirt strips here in the grassy plains state of Apure, most of them in the last two weeks. The government has installed three new Chinese-made radar stations and plans to put up seven others that will completely cover Venezuelan airspace and permit authorities to track unidentified flights originating in neighboring Colombia.

"As a state, we are showing that there is a policy to fight narco-trafficking," said National Guard Col. Nestor Reverol, president of the National Anti-Drug Office, which coordinates the programs. "We're not saying it's just a problem for Colombia and the United States. We're assuming responsibility. That's why we're doing this."